Starfish Therapies

August 28, 2012

Fun way to work on balance reactions

Growing Play posted the coolest idea recently: Surfing on Dry Land.  We tried to go out and get enough noodles and a boogie board so we could try it with some kiddos but it was too late in the season; so we had to make due with what we had and get creative for the boogie board (aka surfboard).  Luckily we had a kiddo coming in who is working on her balance and is almost always game for trying new activities.

The first time we tried it we had her stand with her feet even and facing the therapist.  This was definitely easy for her.  Then we had her stand staggered stance facing the crash pad (so she could jump off when she was finished).  This was definitely trickier.  Because she was facing the direction of the movement she got to work on her forward and backward balance reactions.  She is engaging her ankle reaction, her hip reaction and using her trunk and arms to maintain her balance when the other reactions weren’t enough.  We also switched it up so that she could lead with the other foot and practice both ways.  To make it a little easier we could have had her standing with her feet even while we moved her forward and backward but she was able to handle the challenge of staggered stance and stand like a ‘surfer’.

Who else has tried this great idea?  How did you use it?

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2 Comments »

  1. Love it!!!! The kids love to play that they are on a boat and jump off into the “water”. Maybe you could add a magnetic fishing rod to gather fish to challenge the balance while completing another task. I have also been meaning to try it in prone superman pose and put the pool noodles under the long side of the board and roll back and forth to activate the lateral trunk muscles and righting reactions.

    Comment by Margaret@YTherapySource — August 28, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  2. I like to cut the foam noodle in half lengthwise, place a firm board on top and let the student experiement themselves with balance, sort of like a standing teeter totter. Makes a nice little sitting balance experience as well, as long as they remember not to put their little fingers underneath. Thank you for sharing your fun video! Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Lindgren — September 1, 2012 @ 2:28 pm | Reply


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